Due to operational constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Capital One temporarily removed gift cards from its list of rewards redemption options, leaving some cardholders with fewer ways to redeem miles at a favorable rate.
Many of them are temporary and aimed to assist consumers who experience financial difficulties amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
However, not all of the changes can be considered positive. For instance, on March 31 it was reported that Capital One removed the gift card redemption option from its credit cards.
Fortunately, the change was short-lived. On April 29, Capital One confirmed that it’s able to once again offer this benefit, meaning consumers can continue to redeem their rewards for gift cards from a variety of merchants, including Amazon, Walmart, Lowes and more.
How the change could affect cardholders
Since most travel has stopped globally because of the pandemic, redeeming rewards for travel purchases is a less viable option.
This is especially true for the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card and Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, as both cards’ miles have the best value when redeemed for travel purchases. The rate for the gift card redemption option is around 1 cent per mile – making it the best alternative while travel spending is much more limited.
See related: How much are Capital One miles worth?
Unable to take advantage of the best redemption value, some cardholders might have considered opting for gift cards instead. When it was no longer an option, they might have had to hold on to their miles – or look for other ways to redeem.
Other ways to redeem your Capital One miles
While saving your miles may be a better decision in the long run, there are still options for you to redeem your rewards.
See related: Best ways to use Capital One miles
If you’re looking to get some cash value from your miles, consider redeeming for Amazon purchases or cash back, whether as a statement credit or check. However, keep in mind that it’s typically not the best choice for Venture cardholders. Capital One miles lose half of their value when redeemed for cash back and are only worth around 0.8 cents per mile when you use them on Amazon.
While it’s essential to be aware of your credit card rewards value, during financially challenging times it may be more important to get a quick influx of extra cash. In such cases, redeeming your miles for cash may be quite helpful, even though you won’t get the most buck for them.